David joins us in March for his largest ever exhibition and sale of paintings. See here for more.
Of course, everyone in the Ripon Choral Society knows David Page, but it was only during our recent trip to New York to sing in Carnegie Hall, that he and I really got to know each other. We had a particularly memorable visit to the Guggenheim Museum together, when we discovered a mutual liking for the French Post-Impressionists, especially some beautiful early works by Picasso.
As a result of this, David recently invited me to his studio, to take a look at the paintings he is exhibiting in Sharow Church 22nd/24th March, with a view to writing a few comments about his work.
David came to painting quite late; he retired when he was in his early fifties, having never picked up a brush in earnest, and discovered almost by chance that he had a talent for painting and drawing. After a few exploratory studies, including two correspondence courses, he went to London attending a full time two-year diploma art course specialising in Portraiture. His studies included sitting in the National Gallery and copying masterpieces; he still has several of these canvasses, including two delightful Franz Hals. There are also some very sensitive Life Studies, and a number of portraits dating from this time, in pastel and charcoal, where already the character of the sitter is superbly captured.
After finishing his Art Studies, and being declared a “Professional Artist” he and Rosemary spent ten years cruising round the world, as Artist in Residence, running art classes and giving demonstrations. He has painted in many exotic places including Northern India, Yemen, Italy and Greece; his art reflects this change, with a sudden inclusion of peopled landscapes and busy town scenes, of camels and deserts, market places and castles. The colours are bright and the atmosphere of the heat and bustle is often well captured. There are some exquisite renderings of the Duomo di San Marco in Venice, and the Caryatids on the Acropolis in Athens.
David also continued his portraiture, and his portfolio has an impressive number of excellent portraits of eminent people; his ability to capture not only the likeness of the face, but also amazingly skilful reproduction of hands, limbs and fabric gives the whole picture a great air of professionalism and authority. He has also explored local landscape, and seems to be comfortable in almost every medium: charcoal, pastel, water colour and oils.
David has exhibited landscape in galleries locally, and a number of his portraits hang in public places. He was on the organising committee for the Great Northern Art Show for six years. As well as his art he has a great love of music, and often has music playing while he is painting.
I enjoyed my afternoon, looking at David’s progression through the twenty-five years of his painting life, through his pictures and through our conversation. I thoroughly recommend a visit to the forthcoming exhibition – virtually all work will be for sale.